Sunday, March 7, 2010

Promotion Madness by Joyce Lavene

Promotion Madness - it's here again.

Of course, every author promotes all year long. But there's that special time right before and right after a new book comes out that becomes like a crazed journey to see how, where and when you should advertise for that book.

Right now, it's Promotion Madness time for A TIMELY VISION, our May 2010 mystery. The book has been out for reviews since the end of last year - check, some reviews are back and on the website which was just changed - check. Contest in place for the book and a Duck, NC tote bag - check.

Setting up book signings and other events is underway. There will be the familiar and the not familiar places. The book launch party will be the day the book comes out - if Berkley can get copies to the bookstore in time.

There will be magazine ads, local ads in the newspaper. The trailer is progressing. Booksellers have cover flats. Friends and relatives in faraway places are poised to turn all the books face out when they appear on the shelves.

Have we forgotten anything?

Every few weeks there are articles in magazines like this one from the LA Times:,0,5647724.story about how books should be promoted and how they are promoted. There are no exact rules to follow, no real guidelines even to know what works and what doesn't. It's a crap shoot.

Does spending a lot of money work? It all depends on who you talk to. Will it help if you get a publicist? We've had a few of those and ended up doing more than they did for a lot less money. But many authors swear by them.

I've known authors who spent thousands of dollars on ads in big glossy magazines that should have produced results. They didn't.

What's an aspiring author to do?

All you can do is read everything you can and do what you can afford. Do what feels right and move on. Will your book be an instant bestseller? Who knows. But if you find what works for you (blogging, chats, radio spots, interviews, guest shots, etc.) keep doing it and hope for the best.

If someone ever finds a sure-fire way to promote a book that leads to a bestseller, we'll all find out about it on Facebook, Twitter and other resources. Until then, I have to get back to checking off my list.

Joyce Lavene
A Timely Vision
Berkley Prime Crime

1 comment:

Susan Whitfield said...

Joyce, this article speaks the truth. Congrats on the new release. I look forward to spending some time with you and Jim at the Cape Fear Crime Fest in Wilmington. Have a wonderful Christmas.